AP govt orders probe into uranium mining pollution

a committee of experts has been setup to study reports of ground water pollution from uranium mining

By Author  |  Published: 31st Aug 2019  6:27 pm

Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh Government has ordered a comprehensive inquiry into reports of pollution of ground water sources in and around Tummalapalle village in Kadapa district from uranium mining in the village.

The Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board has set up a committee of experts to study reports of ground water pollution from uranium mining by Uranium Corporation of India Limited in Tummapalle in Vemula mandal of Kadapa district.

The committee which will be set up in three days, will get 10 days to study the issue and submit its report to the Andhra Pradesh Government.

This development follows a complaint from Kadapa MP Avinash Reddy and retired chief scientist K Babu Rao to the APPCB that UCIL was not taking adequate steps to prevent pollution from its mining activities in the district.

Following this, APPCB issued some directions to UCIL but the Board was unhappy with UCIL apparently not following the instructions. This was followed by the pollution control board issuing a show cause notice to UCIL following which the company informed APPCB that the steps it had taken so far were adequate to prevent pollution.

According to a release from the AP Government, the proposed committee will comprise experts from NGRI, GSI, AP Ground Water Department, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, AP Mines and Geology Department, Agriculture Department and representatives from IIT, Tirupati.

Meanwhile, Congress party continued to demand an immediate halt all moves related to uranium mining in the State with its leaders reiterating the dangers posed by the mining to drinking water sources of the people, forests and wildlife in Telangana. On Saturday, former party MPs V Hanumantha Rao and Mallu Ravi said the proposed mining for uranium will spell disaster for the State.

Earlier on Friday, former Congress MLAs C Vamsichand Reddy and others submitted a memorandum to the National Tiger Conservation Authority in New Delhi pointing out the risk the proposed uranium mining in Amrabad Tiger Reserve in Nallamala forests. They urged NTCA not to permit any mining activity in the reserve.

On Saturday, Hanumantha Rao said the mining posed a direct danger to the people of Hyderabad because it will poison rivers including Krishna, that the city depends on as its drinking water sources. “It will affect crops and lives directly too,” he said.

Calling on people to joing together to launch a movement against mining of uranium in Nallamala forests and in Nalgonda district, Hanumantha Rao said the damage to forests and wildlife from the mining will be severe.

Meanwhile, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee vice-president Mallu Ravi said the proposed mining will destroy part of Nallama forests and affect Chenchu tribal families. He also pointed out that the proposed area for mining, in addition to Nalgonda district, falls in the Amrabad Tiger Reserve and will affect wildlife, including the tiger, in the region.

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